Monday, January 26, 2015

Never be cold again: Woolpower

I've decided enough with being cold here in Toronto. I know there are colder places in Canada, but this city is plenty cold for a native Californian.

So the one thing I really dislike is long underwear, but I've finally come to terms that if I want to be warm while walking outside for over two hours, I need to be completely cocooned in warm wool.

I first noticed Woolpower at Westerlind and thought it looked intriguing. Last week I went to the Canadian Outdoor Equipment store in Mississauga, which has an astonishing range of axes for sale, and spent a bit of time trying on different sizes and styles before settling on a zip turtleneck in green and longies in black. I don't think I've ever worn such warm yet lightweight wool thermals before. The knit is flat on the outside and terry-loop on the insides, which gives it a lofty or spongy feel. For sizing, I went with XS for both top and bottom (normally a size 4-6). The crewneck top seemed to be longer in the torso than the zip-neck, but both styles are plenty long for preventing gaps when moving around. My one complaint is that the long underwear isn't skintight (nor should it be for heat retention), so I have to layer with boyfriend jeans.

Yesterday it was a sunny 22 degrees Fahrenheit. I wore a Uniqlo Heattech tanktop, Woolpower top and longies, Steven Alan cotton overalls in white, Steven Alan flannel reverse seam shirt, Patagonia down vest, and Patagonia Torrentshell in golden amber for wind protection. I also bought Woolpower insoles for my Blundstones, and my feet are heaps warmer. I walked along the rail line on the north side of Toronto and was quite cozy for the hour-long jaunt.

Monday, January 19, 2015

thirty five

I'm thirty five today. I love it when my birthday coincides with the Martin Luther King Jr. observed holiday, even if I'm no longer living in the US.

It's freezing and I'm dressed in plaid flannel and wool linen, but I'm dreaming of Julia's new dress, the Islington in hot pink linen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Deep Freeze: Woolrich Arctic Parka

I bought a Woolrich Arctic Parka at Due West in early November. January is giving me plenty of opportunities to test it out, and I'm pleased to say that it was worth every penny. I wanted a down-filled parka with a sturdy, water-resistant exterior, and this coat has a Teflon finish that works beautifully. I also wanted lined chest pockets similar to my Barbour Bedale because it's always nice to have pockets for my hands and pockets for my stuff. The length of the Arctic Parka is mid-thigh for me (5'4"), and this is a solid compromise between warmth and mobility. My bum is warm, but I also have the option of hopping on a bicycle or going skating. Finally, I wanted removable fur so I can wash the coat at home. I would say the coat runs true to size. I took a small, which gives me enough room to layer a thick wool sweater underneath. When it's negative 36 Celsius windchill, you definitely need extra layers to supplement the parka.

I also caved in and bought a pair of Blundstones in black. They're a bit clunky, but I find them to be charming. Plus, I don't mind getting them dirty, and slip-on Chelsea boots have really streamlined getting out the door in the mornings.